Ken MacGregor has been traversing the internet talking about his quirky horror collection titled An Aberrant Mind. So what is it that sets this collection of tales apart from others? We asked Ken to tell us what he thinks…
Introspection about my Collection
I’ve been thinking about An Aberrant Mind. It’s a collection of 22 short stories that vary greatly in length and content, though most are at least horror-related.
I read a lot, like most writers I know – hell, like most people I know. I have always been fond of short stories, and I like writing them, too. There’s something wonderful about the short form, aside from the obvious appeal to those of us with short attention spans. To read (or write) a complete story that can be read in one sitting is very satisfying.
My work has appeared in a whole bunch of anthologies with other writers, some of whom I have come to call my friends. This is how I cut my teeth in publishing, and it was a great learning experience.
Where am I going with this? Well, as I said, I’ve been thinking about my book. All 22 of those stories are written by me. They all have my voice and tiny pieces of me are in each one. If you know me really well, you might be able to pull them out with tweezers. I imagine that, like the game Operation, there is a horrible annoying buzzer if you bump the edges.
The stuff in An Aberrant Mind may be all mine, but it’s not all the same. The stories are not cookie-cutter versions of one another. Sure, there are a few zombies and my favorite werewolf shows up a couple times, but there is also a super-soldier laid low by OCD; there’s homicidal food; Cthulhu makes a guest appearance; a mute circus strongman finds love (that doesn’t go well for him); there are human monsters and actual monsters; children making catastrophic choices; a fatal case of laziness and a dangerously nice lawn.
I have tried to offer up the horrific with a light touch, to spice the fear with laughter. I love a good story and I have tried to tell 22 of them. I hope my readers enjoy them, or at least enough of them to make reading the book a good experience. I know not all of them will resonate with everyone. That’s how it goes. But, the reason I write is that I want to entertain people. I want the reader to walk away thinking about the characters, the world. I want the reader to get something out of it. Not to sell books and pad my bank account, but to make you think, or smile, or shudder, or all three at once.
An Aberrant Mind is my attempt at sharing the zaniness inside my head with the rest of the world. We live in interesting times, folks. Terrifying, awful, crazy, funny, thought-provoking times. This book should fit right in.
Thanks Ken! Now let’s take a look at An Aberrant Mind, tell you about the giveaway, and let you read an excerpt…
ABERRANT is defined as unusual, abnormal or different. The stories in this book not only differ from most of what you read, but also wildly from each other. A retired school teacher takes on an elder god and his minion; a werewolf picks fights with sea creatures; a neighbor’s lawn may be eating people. Twenty-two stories: scary, funny, weird and different.
In these pages, you will find darkness and fear, revulsion and terror. Mixed with it, however is quite a bit of humor. Sometimes both happen at the same time. So, open it up, join Jim as he fights off zombies with a potato cannon; witness the bloodbath reunion of the first man and his homicidal son; enjoy the monsters, the demons and the deranged.
A word of warning, though: you may never eat a bagel with lox again.
Available for purchase at:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ken MacGregor’s work has appeared in over fifty anthologies, magazines and podcasts. Ken is a member of The Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and an Affiliate member of HWA. You can find Ken on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and at ken-macgregor.com. Ken’s the kind of guy that, if he found himself stranded somewhere with you, would probably eat you to survive. Ken hopes you enjoyed the stories in this collection and that you sleep just a little less well because of them. Ken lives in Michigan with his family and two unstable cats.
Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of An Aberrant Mind by Ken MacGregor to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!
An here’s the excerpt we promised you…
…from ‘First Person Shooter’
Cain stands motionless, surveying the damage. He absently rubs the mark on his cheek; it has been there a long, long time, but he’s not likely to forget the day he got it. Cain inhales through his nose; he has come to appreciate, even enjoy the sharp coppery smell of fresh blood. He lifts a foot, shakes some of it off the toe of his Italian loafer and steps back across the threshold. A job well done, he thinks, and drops the heavy cleaver on the floor. The blade thunks into the wood. As his footsteps fade, the flies begin to gather for the feast.
THIS IS INTOLERABLE.
“I know,” Adam says. “But what can we do? No one can touch him; you made sure of that.” He is careful to keep his tone respectful; he is stating a fact, not admonishing. One does not admonish Him.
THERE IS A LOOPHOLE.
“Really?” Adam arches a perfect eyebrow. “You never mentioned this before.”
I DO NOT ENTIRELY TRUST YOU, YOU KNOW.
“Yes,” Adam sighs. “I know. You hold a grudge better and longer than anyone.”
I DO EVERYTHING BETTER AND LONGER THAN ANYONE.
Adam’s eyebrow shoots up.
GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER.
Adam laughs, then gets serious.
THE MARK WILL ONLY AFFECT THOSE BORN AFTER CAIN. ANYONE OLDER THAN CAIN MAY DO HIM HARM WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE.
“Okay,” Adam says. “But, there are only two people older than Cain.”
Adam stares at his Creator for a long moment.
“You want me to kill my own son?”
ALL OF HUMANKIND ARE YOUR CHILDREN, ADAM.
“Technically, sure,” Adam said, “but I wasn’t their father. Not really. Not in a hands-on, kissing boo-boos, singing to sleep, teaching about the world way. Not in any way that counts.”
YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO THIS.
“What about Eve?”
DO NOT SPEAK OF HER IN MY PRESENCE.
“I always forget how much you hate her.”
I DO NOT HATE. I AM LOVE. STILL, YOU WILL REFRAIN FROM SAYING HER NAME. IT ANNOYS ME.
“Of course,” Adam says. “Whatever you say. Since I seem to be the only choice, what would you have me do, exactly?”
YOU NEED TO PUT AN END TO IT. YOU NEED TO DO IT NOW.
Adam sighs. It’s no use arguing with God. You never win.